LINCOLN PARK — Finding women's footwear that's both comfortable and appropriate for the office isn't always easy.
Enter Chelsea Jones Shoe Studio, an online retailer that is opening a brick-and-mortar shop in Lincoln Park at 2425 N. Clark St. over Labor Day weekend. There, shoppers will find comfortable, athletic-inspired heels, flats and boots, ranging in price between $99 - $259, designed by former marketing professional Chelsea Jones.
Chelsea Jones standing in front of her new shoe store at 2425 N. Clark St. [All photos DNAinfo/Mina Bloom]
A pair of Ciel Bleu heels, which cost $169, according to the website.
A couple pairs of Ciel Bleu flats, which will set you back $119, according to the website.
Jones, 31, said her shoes — which are made in Brazil — not only offer extra cushioning and arch support, but they also feature sporty elements like mesh and elastic straps.
"I felt like there are so many components in the running shoe category, but none of them were being used in the dress shoe category. It's not easy to do with without making it looking too bulky and weird," said Jones, who is an athlete herself.
Up until now, shoppers could only buy Jones' shoes on her website or at a few boutiques in Chicago. She currently makes shoes under the brand Ciel Bleu, but is planning to sell everyday, casual shoes under the brand Chelsea Jones in the spring.
The River North resident said she "never went into business thinking [she'd] open" a brick-and-mortar shop, but that changed when she realized the value of directly working with customers.
"I've noticed so much that women love to try on in person and talk to you about what style is going to work them. With online, you don't get as much as that," Jones said.
Other companies that started online have also decided to open up shops in Lincoln Park, including a company specializing in custom-made sofas. Bonobos, 845 W. Armitage Ave., and Warby Parker, 851 W. Armitage Ave., started as online as well.
"It's a nice model to test things out," Jones said of starting online. "There have been so many changes since I started. I'm much more prepared than I would've been."
Jones, who is originally from Canada, said passersby seem excited for a shop to open on a stretch of Clark Street that has "seen a turnover" with a lot of "new, nicer places" to shop and eat opening lately.
"There are a lot of professionals based here. It's a good spot to see us after work and on the weekends," she said.
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